VOA, September 9, 2023

Report: ‘Disturbing Surge’ in Afghan Female Suicides, Attempted Suicides

Life for women in Afghanistan has become extremely restrictive

Afghan women in burqa waiting to get aid
FILE - A Taliban fighter stands guard as women wait to receive food rations distributed by a humanitarian aid group, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 23, 2023.

There has been a “disturbing surge” in the number of female suicides and attempted female suicides in Afghanistan since the Taliban took control in 2021, according to a report by British newspaper The Guardian.

The Taliban government has not published any statistics on the phenomenon and has forbidden health care workers from sharing the numbers, the newspaper said. However, the report said health care providers agreed to privately share the information from August 2021 to August 2022 “to highlight an urgent public health crisis” that has made Afghanistan one of the few locations in the world where more women than men kill themselves.

During the year-long period, “females made up more than three-quarter of recorded suicide deaths and treated survivors,” The Guardian reported.

Life for women in Afghanistan has become extremely restrictive and health care providers and human rights activists “have raised the alarm” about the staggering suicide surge among Afghanistan’s women.

Recently, the Taliban began barring women from a national park because they were not wearing their headscarves correctly. The Taliban have already barred women from continuing their education after elementary school, prohibited them from most work and even ordered the closure of beauty salons.

“We are witnessing a moment where growing numbers of women and girls see death as preferable to living under the current circumstances,” Alison Davidian, the country representative for U.N. Women, told The Guardian.

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